Given a 2014 forecast of stable prices, what’s there to say?
Those who follow the dramatic ups and downs of Vancouver real estate will have to get used to a market in 2014 expected to go, well, sideways.
For many years, heated discussion about Vancouver property prices has been as perennial as rainfall, fuelling both casual chatter and serious policy debate about affordability.
But now comes a forecast from several local economists that the area’s housing market in the coming year will be stable, with a healthy balance between buyers and sellers.
Central 1 Credit Union’s Bryan Yu does not foresee “a big pickup in activity. I expect to see a relatively stable real estate market,” without big price jumps or dips.
That would reflect a continuation of the conditions of the past year.
“It was a year of stability for the Greater Vancouver housing market,” reports Sandra Wyant, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. “Balanced conditions allowed home prices in the region to remain steady.”
For example, Metro Vancouver’s benchmark price for all types of housing stands at $603,400 — up only modestly by about two per cent from one year ago.
The price of condos — and, for affordability reasons, this increasingly is where most of the activity is — stayed flat or even cooled in 2013.
Home prices are projected to increase by less than five per cent in 2014, in part because of weak job creation, a tightening last year of mortgage rules and interest rates that could increase slightly.
But while the roller coaster ride may be over, it is hard for many to escape the feeling the roller coaster has paused at quite a high point.
Real estate board numbers show the median selling price last month of a detached home was $915,000 on Vancouver’s east side, $2.4 million on the west side, $1.1 million in Richmond and a shade under $1 million in North Vancouver.
Of course, it is exactly at this time of year when it becomes so meteorologically clear to Canadians why homes here are so expensive.
To be sure, Vancouver remains one of the world’s most desirable and least affordable cities, a place where homeowners fork over up to 84 per cent of their monthly income for the privilege of owning the roof over their heads.
Accordingly, the matter of affordability is top of mind, as is urban densification which is supposed to address it, as is foreign ownership which is believed to aggravate it.
Has densification been effective in moderating prices? Should B.C. impose a higher rate of Property Transfer Tax on foreign buyers of Vancouver homes?
Few want to cool the market; It is responsible for so much economic activity. In 2013, $22 billion worth of property sales in the Metro area generated $1.84 billion in spinoff activity and nearly 14,000 jobs.
While Vancouver’s real estate market in 2014 is expected to be balanced and stable, the debate about it is sure to be as volatile as ever.
The Greater Vancouver housing market maintained a consistent balance between demand and supply throughout 2013.
Friday, January 3, 2014
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2013 reached 28,524, a 14 per cent increase from the 25,032 sales recorded in 2012, and an 11.9 per cent decrease from the 32,390 residential sales in 2011.
“Home sales quietly improved last year compared to 2012, although the volume of activity didn’t compare to some of the record-breaking years we experienced over the last decade,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.
Last year’s home sale total ranks as the third lowest annual total for the region in the last ten years, according to the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).
The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver declined 6.2 per cent in 2013 to 54,742 compared to the 58,379 properties listed in 2012. Looking back further, last year’s total represents an 8.1 per cent decline compared to the 59,539 residential properties listed for sale in 2011. Last year’s listing count is on par with the 10 year average.
“It was a year of stability for the Greater Vancouver housing market,” Wyant, said. “Balanced conditions allowed home prices in the region to remain steady, with just a modest increase over the last 12 months.”
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $603,400. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase compared to December 2012.
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,953 in December 2013, an increase of 71 per cent from the 1,142 sales recorded in December 2012 and a 15.9 per cent decline compared to November 2013 when 2,321 home sales occurred.
December sales were 8.1 per cent above the 10-year December sales average of 1,807.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,856 in December 2013. This represents a 34.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,380 units listed in December 2012 and a 42.8 per cent decline compared to November 2013 when 3,245 properties were listed.
Sales of detached properties in December 2013 reached 762, an increase of 79.3 per cent from the 425 detached sales recorded in December 2012, and a 21 per cent increase from the 630 units sold in December 2011. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 2.5 per cent from December 2012 to $927,000.
Sales of apartment properties reached 850 in December 2013, an increase of 68.7 per cent compared to the 504 sales in December 2012, and an increase of 9.8 per cent compared to the 774 sales in December 2011.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 1.8 per cent from December 2012 to $367,800.
Attached property sales in December 2013 totalled 341, an increase of 60.1 per cent compared to the 213 sales in December 2012, and a 34.3 per cent increase from the 254 attached properties sold in December 2011. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 1.2 per cent between December 2012 and 2013 to $456,100.
The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2013, 28,524 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $1.84 billion in economic spin-off activity and 13,977 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $22 billion in 2013. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing more than 11,000 REALTORS® and their companies. The Board provides a variety of member services, including the Multiple Listing Service®. For more information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, contact a local REALTOR® or visit http://www.rebgv.org.
For more information please contact:
Assistant Manager, Communication
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver